WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC REVEALS PROMOTIONS
ACROSS A&R LEADERSHIP TEAM
Warner Chappell Music has promoted Katy Wolaver to Sr. VP, A&R, and Wallace Joseph to VP, A&R. Over the past few years, the duo have helped to sign and develop talent like Ava Max, Summer Walker, Sasha Sloan and others. In their new roles, they will continue to report to Ryan Press, President of A&R, U.S. and work closely with him to grow the company’s roster of songwriters and producers.
Press shared, “Katy and Wallace both have an amazing ear for talent discovery and a natural ability to turn someone with potential into the next big hitmaker. They’ve already helped to build the careers of some of today’s hottest songwriters and are truly a great example of where hard work and dedication can get you in this business. I couldn’t be prouder to see them continue to grow with us as A&R executives.”
Katy Wolaver & Wallace Joseph
Wolaver said, “A&R is all about building connections and developing talent, and over this past year, I’ve had the chance to work between LA and Nashville to find new ways to pair our writers with different artists across a variety of genres. I’m very grateful to Ryan and the entire leadership team at Warner Chappell for believing in my approach and allowing me to expand these efforts even more.”
Joseph added, ”I’d like to thank Guy, Carianne and Ryan for this incredible opportunity. We’ve already signed some of the best producers in the game as well as formed new deals with innovative labels like Lost + Found and LVRN, and I can’t wait to continue our momentum.”
Wolaver manages a mix of talent, including Ava Max, Tayla Parx, All Time Low, MAG (Bad Bunny), Michael Pollack (Maroon 5), Sean Douglas (Thomas Rhett), Fraser Churchill (Mickey Guyton), Jesse Frasure and Sasha Sloan, among others. She joined Warner Chappell in 2016 as Sr. Director before being promoted to VP in 2018. Last year, she broadened her role to work between Los Angeles and Nashville and has put together numerous high–profile sessions. She’s also spent the last few years developing Michael Pollack as a hit songwriter and was instrumental in setting up a session with Jon Bellion that resulted in multiple hits, including “Memories” by Maroon 5, “Holy” ft. Chance The Rapper and “Anyone” by Justin Bieber, and “Prisoner” by Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa. Wolaver got her start in music in 2006 at Arthouse Entertainment and went on to serve as Director of A&R at SONGS Music Publishing.
Joseph works closely with some of today’s biggest artists, songwriters and producers, including Summer Walker, Tay Keith, Murda Beatz, Section 8, T–Minus, Wale, Dougie F, Turbo, Pluss and Lazá, among others. He recently signed rising rapper BRS Kash through a new deal with the record label LVRN, whose “Throat Baby (Go Baby)” single hit the No.1 spot on Urban Radio earlier this year. Via a new partnership with Lost + Found, he was also key in bringing on two of Doja Cat’s top collaborators in Yeti Beats and Lydia Asrat. Across his career, Joseph has helped develop the hitmakers behind top songs like “Leave Me Alone” by Flipp Dinero, “Juicy (ft. Tyga)” and “Say So” by Doja Cat, as well as the Grammy–winning single “Where Are Ü Now” by Jack Ü ft. Justin Bieber and the viral sensation “Broccoli” by Shelley (FKA DRAM) ft. Lil Yachty, among others. Prior to joining Warner Chappell in 2017, Joseph ran a music management company, HMWRK.
In Warner Chappell Music signing news, the company has extended its worldwide publishing agreement with multi–Platinum artist and songwriter Saweetie. The powerhouse rapper, who is also signed to Warner Records, has generated fans with anthems like “Back to the Streets” ft. Jhené Aiko, “Tap In” and “Pretty Bitch Freestyle,” along with her RIAA 2x–Platinum certified hit “My Type.” In January, Saweetie released her newest single, “Best Friend” with breakout artist Doja Cat, which currently sits at No.1 on Rhythmic radio. At only 14 year’s old, Saweetie started rhyming over YouTube beats. Upon graduating from the University of Southern California in 2016, she decided to pursue a full–time career in music. Two years later, she released her breakthrough, Platinum single, “ICY GRL,” which garnered over 150 million worldwide streams on Spotify and 117 million global views on YouTube. She followed with her debut EP, High Maintenance, which landed on the Billboard R&B/Hip–Hop Album Sales chart. Saweetie is currently working on her debut album, Pretty Bitch Music, set for release later this year. Outside of making music, Saweetie also manages her own brand, #girlboss, which includes her best–selling ICY jewelry and fashion line.
SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING FINALIZES ACQUISITION
OF PAUL SIMON’S SONG CATALOG
Sony Music Publishing has acquired the song catalog of Paul Simon, one of the most celebrated singer–songwriters of all time. The landmark deal includes Simon’s classic songs spanning over six decades, from his time as a member of Simon & Garfunkel, through his solo artist career. Among the works included under the deal are “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Boxer,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Homeward Bound,” “I Am A Rock,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Graceland,” and others.
Paul Simon said, “I’m pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of my songs for the coming decades. I began my career at Columbia/Sony Records and it feels like a natural extension to be working with the Publishing side as well.”
Jon Platt, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Publishing said, “Paul Simon is a masterful, once–in–a–lifetime songwriter whose remarkable body of work has generated an enduring influence on our culture and consciousness. From Simon & Garfunkel standards like ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to solo classics such as ‘Graceland,’ Paul Simon’s music resonates deeply as a cultural touchstone for people all over the world. To represent his indelible songs is an incredible honor for Sony Music Publishing, so with tremendous pride, I welcome Paul to our family!”
Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group said, “We are truly honored to now represent the music publishing catalogue of Paul Simon. To be entrusted with his songs and recorded music is a privilege of the highest artistic order for the Sony Music Group worldwide.”
Beginning in 1964, the duo of Simon & Garfunkel released five studio albums and achieved significant success, selling more than 100 million records to date, before Simon went on to have an incredibly successful solo career. Paul Simon’s recorded music catalog is signed to Sony Music Entertainment.
Over the course of his career, Simon has garnered numerous honors including 16 Grammy Awards, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame and a recipient of its Johnny Mercer Award. Additionally, Simon is a two–time inductee into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center honoree, and the first ever recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He is recognized for his work as a philanthropist including as a Co–Founder of The Children’s Health Fund, which provides access to comprehensive healthcare for children and families in underserved areas across the U.S. Simon has currently been involved with several environmental non–profits, most notably EO Wilson’s Half Earth Foundation.
ADA WORLDWIDE FORMS EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH BILLY MANN
& BENTON JAMES TO LAUNCH ICONS+GIANTS JV
Warner Music Group’s ADA Worldwide announced last week an exclusive partnership with Billy Mann and Benton James for the launch of new JV label, icons+giants. Founded by Grammy–nominated songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and artist manager, Mann, along with A&R executive and artist manager, James, the new set–up will combine their digital marketing experience and proven A&R track record with ADA’s global influence, resources and connected artist services.
Eliah Seton, President of Independent Music & Creator Services, Warner Music Group, said, “On behalf of everyone at ADA and Warner Music, we welcome Billy and Benton and the icons+giants team to the ADA family. Billy and Benton are defining what comes next in music – they are on the cutting edge of this business, and we are so proud to be their partner and for ADA to be their home.”
Billy Mann & Benton James
On the partnership, Mann commented, “Whether you’re an artist or executive, we are all trying to find our tribe–and just as we are partnering with artists that speak to who we are, we are grateful to have found partners in Max and Eliah who provide the same for icons+giants.”
While intentionally not genre specific, icons+giants represents a swiftly moving A&R philosophy. “We continue to be focused on staying in front of trends,” James said. “While everyone is crowding around creators in the digital space, we remain committed to also identifying the talent who are lifers in music, not just seekers of celebrity.”
In a career spanning more than 25 years, Mann’s work as a producer/songwriter has resulted in sales of over 110 million albums. Mann has also served as President of International and Chief Creative Officer of EMI Music Global, as well as President of Creative at BMG North America. He has become known for an uncanny ability to identify superstars at the early stages of their careers, including Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone, Alex Aiono, Pablo Alboran, and TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. Mann is also the longtime collaborator of iconic global superstar P!nk, working with her for nearly two decades.
James began his career in the deep south penning songs for television and producing alongside the likes of RedOne and Mutt Lang. As an A&R, he is responsible for discovering and signing Grammy–nominated hip–hop creative, Supah Mario (Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, Tory Lanez) and DMV legend Ciscero. Formerly the head of Urban A&R for Red Bull Songs, James signed K–so Jaynes, Mike Gazzo and TwhyXclusive to the company and delivered a string of records with Grammy–nominated talent including Trippie Redd, Drake, Wiz Khalifa and Kelly Rowland.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Canadian–born singer/songwriter Forest Blakk has achieved Gold status in Canada for his single, “If You Love Her.” In addition, Forest Blakk has garnered Billboard chart success in both the U.S. and Canada reaching Top 30, as well as racking–up strong support on various streaming services worldwide for the single. A&R Worldwide helped secure Forest Blakk’s first worldwide publishing deal, as well as his major label signing with Pete Ganbarg, President A&R, Atlantic Records and introduced his music to his now booking agency Paradigm Talent Agency. The debut single, “Love Me” was world–premiered on the influential global music pre–discovery radio show Passport Approved, which helped rack–up over 10,000 Shazam tags for the single, as well as his first–ever exposure on radio stations such as Flux FM Berlin Germany, KROQ Los Angeles, Radio 1 Mumbai India, KNDD Seattle, Radio Doblue Neuve–FM Lima Peru and many others. Forest is managed by Craig Logan and his team at LME in association with Maverick Management.
Sony Music Entertainment (SME) announced last week it has entered into a definitive agreement with Globo Comunicação E Participações S.A. to acquire Brazilian independent music company Som Livre. Home to many of Brazil’s most popular artists and a number of rising stars, Som Livre will become a new stand–alone creative center within Sony Music that will continue to sign, develop and market its own roster of talent and provide a wide range of label and diversified service offerings to the Brazilian music community. Marcelo Soares maintains his CEO role with Som Livre. A multifaceted music entertainment company, Som Livre is a long–established developer of repertoire across key Brazilian genres with additional operations in music publishing, live events and distribution. It is a producer of multiple festivals in Brazil, including Festeja, Brazil’s largest Sertanejo music festival, and also is the operator of Fluve, a music distribution platform servicing Brazil’s indie labels and artists. In joining the Sony Music family, Som Livre builds on a long–standing relationship between Som Livre and The Orchard, and further enhances SME’s support for artists and labels in Brazil and across the Latin music landscape. Som Livre’s roster will now also have access to SME’s global network of resources and partnerships. Sony Music also will invest in Som Livre’s continued growth, creating expanded opportunities for Brazilian artists.
Universal Music Australia has revealed the launch of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services as the Australian operation adds to the recently unveiled global network for artist and label services. Announced by Universal Music Australia & New Zealand’s President, George Ash, the new division will draw upon the Caroline Australia team, helmed by Timothy Janes, who has been named MD, Virgin Australia Label & Artists Services. Having guided Caroline Australia since its 2013 launch, Janes has announced a round of strategic promotions and appointments for the Virgin Music Label & Artist Services team. Promoted to the title of Sr. Label Manager are Sam Cross and Ella Symons with Claire Tate transitioning to the newly created role of Marketing and Audience Manager. Joining the team is Lachlan Duthie as Label Coordinator with Media and Promotions Managers Juliette Younger and Jodie Grinsted rounding out the Virgin Music Australia Team.
Universal Music Group (UMG) has named Robbert Baruch to the newly created position of Sr. VP, Public Affairs, Europe, effective May 1st. Based in UMG’s Hilversum, Netherlands corporate headquarters, Baruch will have responsibility for public policy and government relations across Europe, including the European Union. He will report to Eric Berman, UMG’s EVP, Public Affairs. Baruch comes to UMG after nine years at Dutch collective management society, Buma/Stemra, where he served most recently as Manager, Public Affairs. Previously, he served in a senior government relations role at the Dutch Association of Insurers and as communications manager at ING Group. A native of The Hague, Baruch previously served as Deputy Mayor of the Rotterdam Borough of Feijenoord and as a Member of the Regional Assembly of the Province of South Holland, among other political experience.
HYBE (formerly Big Hit Entertainment), a South Korean entertainment lifestyle platform company, is joining forces with Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. Under the international deal, HYBE will acquire, via its wholly owned subsidiary HYBE America, a 100% stake in Ithaca Holdings and its properties including SB Projects and Big Machine Label Group. As Ithaca Holdings’ CEO, Braun will join the board of HYBE and Scott Borchetta will remain CEO of Big Machine Label Group. Artists of both companies will participate in the capital increase of HYBE, to further strengthen the ties between the two companies. The deal brings together a range of services including management, label services and publishing for global acts BTS, TXT, SEVENTEEN, NU’EST, GFRIEND, ENHYPEN, ZICO, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, J Balvin, Demi Lovato, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Lady A and others. Ithaca Holdings’ market and industry expertise will expedite HYBE artists’ entry in the U.S. market and beyond, solidifying HYBE’s place in the global market.
Spotify announced last week that it has acquired Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room, a sports talk live audio app. This acquisition will look to expand Spotify’s footprint into the live audio space. Over the coming months, Spotify plans to evolve and expand Locker Room’s live audio experience to cover sports, music, and cultural programming, as well as additional interactive features allowing creators to connect with audiences in real time. Spotify looks to offer professional athletes, writers, musicians, songwriters, podcasters, and others a platform to host real–time discussions, debates, ask me anything (AMA) sessions, and more.
In other Spotify news, the streamer unveiled its new Spotify Mixes feature which rolled out last week to free and premium users worldwide. The new collection of curated playlists brings together music already liked by users along with additional recommended songs from Spotify based around favorite artists, genres or musical decades. Spotify’s existing Daily Mixes, while similar, curates less defined playlists as “Daily Mix 1” and “Daily Mix 2” with the new Spotify Mixes playlists offering clearer categories such as “Pop Mix,” “2000s Mix,” and “Drake Mix.” Spotify revealed that Mix categories will be home to multiple playlists which will update on an ongoing basis.
In Spotify staffing news, the DSP’s Global Director of Country Music, John Marks, parted ways with the company last week having joined the Spotify team in 2015 and being one of only two Nashville–based employees working across the country arena. At Spotify, Marks played a key role in building the DSP’s Hot Country brand, supporting new talent, and solidifying Spotify’s Nashville presence. As an integral part of Spotify’s growth in the country music community, Marks’ work supported growth for the genre to 6 million followers and 5 billion streams, as of Q4 2020. His career prior to Spotify was largely composed of programming and operations roles in terrestrial radio. In 2010, he headed to Nashville to work at SiriusXM, becoming Head of Country Music Programming, where he spent five years prior to joining Spotify.
Last week, Facebook made officially licensed videos on the platform available for viewing in Mexico for the first time. In addition to searching for videos based on genre, mood or artist, users also have access to a number of themed playlists. Facebook video hosting has already been available in Thailand, India and the U.S. Adrian Harley, Head of Music Label Partnerships for Facebook and Instagram in Latin America commented, “We are excited to launch in Mexico in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Merlin, Believe and other independent labels and distributors. We have also established a partnership with EMMAC–SACM, representing all the songwriters and publishers of Mexico.”
Midem has announced that its 2021 edition will be fully digital and free to access, with a return to Cannes in June 2022. Midem 2021 will take place fully online, on the Midem Digital platform. Open since June 2020, the platform offers its current 12,500 members year–round access to essential resources, including ongoing networking and on–demand content. In the coming months, following the success of the Midem Latin American Forum which took place online mid–March, Midem will also host two additional events with Midem Africa (June 28th – July 1st), the first ever pan–African digital music event, and Midem Digital Edition (November 16th – 19th).
Entercom Communications Corp. announced last week that it has transitioned its brand name to Audacy. Over the past three years, the company has evolved into a scaled, multi–platform audio content and entertainment organization encompassing the leading U.S. radio broadcasting group and a leadership position in virtually every segment of the dynamic and growing audio market across broadcasting, podcasting, digital, network, live experiences, music, sports and news. Audacy is also the No.1 creator of original, premium audio content. The company’s growth has been driven via acquisitions including CBS Radio, Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios and Podcorn as well as building out its sports offering with the acquisition of QL Gaming and a FanDuel partnership. Additional partnerships include becoming the podcast partner for the likes of HBO, Netflix, Nike and others as well as strategic alliances with Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitch and others. Audacy also launched RADIO.COM and is behind some of the U.S.’s leading music festivals and other listening experiences. Alongside its rebranding, Audacy announced an exclusive podcast partnership with Demi Lovato as well as original podcasts and other projects set to air on Audacy’s digital platform. The company also revealed partnership with BetMGM and Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights.
Round Hill Music has announced a wide–ranging worldwide agreement with country music songwriter/producer, Zach Crowell, covering the acquisition and administration of his music publishing back catalog, neighbouring rights (via Sound Hill) and producer royalties. As a songwriter he has written thirteen No.1 songs and has produced twelve No.1 songs. Included in those No.1s is Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” which he co–wrote, produced, and mixed, and which set an all–time record of 34 weeks for the most time spent in the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He also co–produced Sam Hunt’s triple–Platinum debut, Montevallo, with five co–writes. Additionally, he co–wrote three No.1 songs and produced two songs on Carrie Underwood’s album Storyteller and co–wrote and produced Keith Urban’s hit single “Cop Car.” He also co–wrote and produced “Strong” for the 2014 national Chevy Silverado ad campaign. His work has garnered him multiple ASCAP, NSAI and Billboard awards as well as nominations for several Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards. He has also received CMA’s Triple Play Award three times in his career. Most recently he has had three No.1s with Sam Hunt’s “Kinfolks” (as a co–writer and producer) and “Hard to Forget” (as a producer), and Dustin Lynch’s “Ridin’ Roads” (as a co–writer and producer). Currently, Crowell has two singles on the radio, “Momma’s House” by Dustin Lynch, which he produced, and “Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90’s” by Sam Hunt, which he co–wrote and produced.
Indie music publisher, Prescription Songs, has tapped Chris Martignago as a senior member of the A&R team, while Rachel Wein has been promoted to A&R Manager. Prior to his new role, Martignago, worked at Atlantic Records where he helped sign talent under Sr. VP of A&R Steve Robertson’s (Paramore, Shinedown) mentorship, and developed the A&R research department as Director of A&R and Research. Highlights of his career to date include signing Anna Clendening and guiding her single “Boys Like You” to Platinum status in the U.S. as well as helping put together A Day To Remember’s 2021 album, You’re Welcome. Martignago started out as a musician and songwriter touring in bands for several years before attending Full Sail University. In 2015 he relocated to Nashville, signing artists in town, collaborating with the creative community through projects, volunteering his time to local arts programs and involving himself in managing R.LUM.R as an artist. In her new role as A&R Manager, Wein will continue supporting talent she was instrumental in signing, including Tim Gent, Bryant Taylor, carobae, James Droll and Megan Redmond, while working to grow the company’s roster. Most recently, she signed LA–based artist/writer JORDY, who has received early buzz via his TikTok following and recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Wein joined Prescription Songs in 2017 as the first hire under Head of A&R, Katie Fagan, in their Nashville office.
In other Prescription Songs news, the music publisher will be offering its roster of songwriters and producers the option of payment in Bitcoin, it was announced last week by company Founder, Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald). For this new arrangement, Prescription Songs has partnered with BitPay, the world’s largest provider of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services. Prescription Songs is home to a catalog of hits that includes “Say So” by Doja Cat, “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa, “Mood” by 24kGoldn feat. iann dior, “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5, “Starboy” by The Weeknd and “Juice” by Lizzo, among others.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz launched music battle series, Verzuz, has joined forces with popular fitness platform, Peloton, for Peloton Verzuz. The new offering will bring Verzuz battles to the Peloton community to soundtrack workouts. The pairing rolls–out with the first Peloton Verzuz classes featuring Brandy vs. Monica to spotlight Women’s History Month. Peloton members will have the option via the tag function to take a side on either team #VerzuzBrandy or #VerzuzMonica.
Entertainment executive, Brandon Pankey, has unveiled the launch of Artist Presented Experiences (APEX), a new AVOD video network home for programming presented exclusively by, and for music artists. APEX will provide viewers diverse, artist–centric content, starring and produced by leading talent, to create original scripted, unscripted, and licensed programming. Powered by award–winning brand services agency, Quantasy + Associates, the network’s unique model for content creation makes APEX the only network where artists and production partners can deliver their unfiltered creative vision, directly to fans. On the initial original programming slate are scripted comedy series Help Wanted, Raedio Presents The Playback and Beyond the Music, as well as APEX Studios original series Custom Fitted, Generally Speaking, How I’m Livin and Ring Walk. Additional creative and strategic partners include Live Nation Urban, Just A Rebel, recording artist Brianna Castro, and female–led music and entertainment company Femme It Forward. The network is scheduled to roll–out this Summer.
A five–year deal has been finalized between Irish agent and promoter Julian O’Brien and Nabil Ghebre, the U.S. partner for MPI Artists, for the worldwide touring rights of Snoop Dogg, with Richard Buck’s TEG MJR (ex–U.S. and Canada). The duo of O’Brien and Ghebre played key roles in spearheading one of the largest deals of the iconic rapper’s career. Under the agreement, O’Brien, MPI and TEG will collaborate on international touring for the artist over the next five years. O’Brien and Ghebre will work alongside Robert Dreislen (aka Bobby D) and Uncle Snoop’s Army during the five year arrangement as Snoop’s international agents. The deal marks the first–of–its–kind finalized by an Ireland–based agent with debut shows under the agreement already revealed for February of next year. TEG MJR will operate as the exclusive “Resident Promoter” during the term.
Following the news that its in–person festival was canceled for the year due to the COVID–19 pandemic, Glastonbury revealed last week that it will be presenting a ticketed livestream concert from Worthy Farm, set to take place Saturday, May 22nd. The five–hour event will welcome performances from artists such as Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Haim, Idles, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice and DJ Honey Dijon as well as additional, unannounced performances. The livestream will be filmed using Worthy Farm landmarks such as Pyramid Field and the Stone Circle and is being presented in partnership with Driift and BBC Studios Productions. Livestream tickets are available now, with a number of timed streams available to allow audiences globally to join.
Bluesfest, one of Australia’s premier live music festivals, was forced to call off its 2021 edition last week due to confirmation of a COVID–19 variant outbreak in Brisbane and surrounding areas. The order was given by Minister for Health Brad Hazzard just 24 hours before the festival was set to kick–off. Marking the second year in a row the event has had to cancel, the 2021 edition was set to welcome Australian acts Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, Ziggy Alberts, The Teskey Brothers and others. The event had already been preparing a COVIDSafe event to adhere with health and safety guidance, with three performance stages prepared to operate at approximately 50% of normal capacity and production.
Qobuz has partnered with UMe and Zappa Records to provide dozens of Frank Zappa albums for the first time in hi–res audio. UMe and Zappa Records launched last week a hi–res reissue campaign via Qobuz, totaling 29 albums spanning all phases of Zappa’s career. The five–week campaign will include a series of drops between now and May 7th, with classic and influential albums released for download and streaming on Qobuz and by April 2nd, fans will be able to stream and download nine albums exclusively on the platform. Each album will include an extensive PDF digital booklet, a feature only available on Qobuz’s streaming apps. Among the works included are the second album from the original Mothers of Invention, Absolutely Free, and Halloween 81, documenting Zappa’s famed holiday residency at New York City’s Palladium, in both full boxed–set and edited “highlights” versions. On April 1st, Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers, the Zappa “Vaultmeister,” will join Qobuz Chief Hi–Res Evangelist, David Solomon, and the Qobuz team for a livestream discussion. This upcoming event is part of Qobuz’s weekly Qobuz Live series. Additionally, Travers is curating an exclusive annotated Zappa playlist for Qobuz, which will be released later in April.
Music distribution company, UnitedMasters, has announced a Series B funding round reaching $50 million, led by Apple with follow–on investment coming from Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz. UnitedMasters commented that the new investment “fuels the company’s mission to enable artists to maintain full ownership over their work while expanding their economic opportunity and introducing them to millions of new fans.” Alongside the announcement of the Series B round, UnitedMasters has also finalized a new strategic partnership with Apple to deliver new opportunities to artists using the platform.
Angry Mob Music Group has signed an exclusive worldwide co–publishing agreement with LA–based artist and songwriter, Angela Mukul (aka LeyeT). The co–publishing deal encompasses all current and future works. As a multi–talented, dedicated songwriter specializing in the pop, alternative, R&B, and electronic genres, LeyeT’s songs have garnered over 15 million streams across platforms. In 2020, she co–wrote and was featured on RAC’s song “Carefree,” from the album BOY, in addition to co–writing Molly Moore’s “Get Out of My Head” from the album Voice on the Internet. As a recording artist, LeyeT has new releases scheduled for 2021. Her debut EP thoughts and sophomore EP more thoughts included singles “Most People,” which premiered via Billboard, and “Let Me Know” which was featured on Spotify New Music Friday. Her single “Don’t Make Me Cry” topped the Spotify Fresh Finds playlist, as well as landed in the U.S. on its Global Viral charts. The song “Long Way” was the first of several of her No.1 Hype Machine spots. Other LeyeT songs have appeared on Spotify’s Young & Free playlist and Apple Music’s Today at Apple. LeyeT songs have also been used in synch placements on the Freeform TV shows Good Trouble and The Bold Type.
Soundstripe has brought on 10–year industry veteran and streaming music specialist, Zach Diaz, as Head of Streaming. In this role, he will bring his extensive experience at Red Bull Records, as well as Sony Music Entertainment’s RED Distribution and The Orchard, to Soundstripe, overseeing all of the company’s activities with digital service providers (DSPs). Prior to Soundstripe, Diaz held multiple positions in the independent distribution and label space, working with all major digital music services on the front lines of the industry’s transition to a subscription–based model. After an early career in artist management, Diaz entered the account management arena in 2013, spending five years at RED Distribution and The Orchard, overseeing DSP relationships. Starting in 2018, Diaz spent two years at Red Bull Records as VP of Global Digital Account Management to oversee DSP relations and strategy. At Red Bull Records, he worked closely with a range of acts such as AWOLNATION, The Aces, Albert Hammond Jr., Beartooth and Blxt.
The 55th Montreux Jazz Festival is set to move forward from July 2nd – 17th 2021. Taking into account the current guidelines of the Swiss authorities and the uncertainties surrounding this year’s summer season, the Festival has completely reimagined its format. In a Festival first, a stage will be constructed on the beautiful Lake Geneva, with a maximum capacity of 600 seats along the shoreline. Three other stages with a smaller capacity, located in the event spaces and gardens of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel, will host jazz concerts, jam sessions, workshops and more. The 55th edition of the festival will operate as a unique hybrid model with an adapted physical event to maintain COVID–19 guidelines, and an internationally available digital presence. Via its exclusive deal with video streaming platform Qello Concerts by Stingray, performances from the Festival will be livestreamed globally, free of charge. The in–person edition of this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival will be more intimate with artists performing across the four stages. The program will feature all different kinds of jazz, along with the Montreux Jazz Talent Awards, jam sessions and workshops as well as other offerings.
The U.K. Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) joined with Distiller Music Group, in association with Ostereo, Arista Media Nashville and Accidental Ent. LA, to facilitate a unique, virtual songwriting camp last week. These invite–only sessions brought together 80 songwriters from the U.K. and U.S. to write to specific briefs received from music supervisors worldwide on behalf of Netflix, CBS and others. Working with different partners each day, songwriters composed in real time with two other people via a series of virtual songwriting rooms. Operations were coordinated by a specialist production team based at Distiller Music Group’s The Distillery studios. Each “room” was overseen by engineers and producers for technical assistance and creative advice throughout the process. At the end of each day the results of sessions were sent back to the studio where they were mixed for pitching to music supervisors. All songs written were split equally between the number of writers in the room unless otherwise agreed on the day. This songwriting camp is a collaborative initiative bringing together songwriters from Los Angeles, Nashville, Miami and London. The DIT teams in the U.K. and U.S., alongside its partners, sourced both the writers taking part and the individual briefs. Despite being virtual this year, the edition would have marked the 4th year holding the event in Los Angeles, and the 6th year in Nashville.
The U.K.’s PPL has revealed its Q1 distributions will reach £61.3 million to over 25,000 performers and recording rights holders. The total includes £28.1 million in international money marking the third highest quarterly international distribution in the history of the organization. The international total includes for the first–time ever, money from the Netherlands’ STAP, representing producers of sound carriers in the distribution of the home copying levy and lending right remunerations. Having reached the one year mark from the first lockdown, the newest distribution brings PPL’s total distributed over the course of the pandemic to £308.8 million.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Brian Message, Jennifer Hurts, Christian Tattersfield, Jenna Andrews, Karl Anderson, Tarsame Mittal, Tim Ingham, Mark Beaven, John Dexter, Monte Lipman, Raphi Lima, Doug Mark and Alexandra Greenberg.
JACKASS OF THE WEEK
Have you ever sent a text message you regretted, clicked on the wrong link, posted an inappropriate message or image on social media, accidentally replied “send all” on an E–mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Spring weather is upon us which means many folks are changing into their pool appropriate gear. Click HERE for a look at those who should probably stay away from water and keep their non-pool attire on!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– LUCY GAFFNEY
Irish artist Lucy Gaffney may have just started her solo career, with just two singles out to date, but she has already seen acclaim from the iconic Liam Gallagher, who called her music ‘celestial’ and a collaboration with DMA’s. Early supporters at radio have come in the form of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6, BBC Ulster, BBC Introducing, Radio X, Ireland’s Today FM, 2FM, SPIN 1038, 98FM, and Holland’s 3FM and Kink FM, where her new single “Star Sign Lover” is the song of the week. Lucy is co–managed by Dave Toethuis (co–manager for Tash Sultana, Tones and I, The Teskey Brothers) and Edison Waters (manager Gavin James) and her U.K. agent at WME is James Simmons. Listen to “Star Sign Lover” HERE from one of the most talked–about artists in Ireland, Lucy Gaffney, and contact Edison Waters at email@example.com for all inquiries.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – YOSHI FLOWER
Detroit–born Joshua Smith is a unique artist that goes by the name of Yoshi Flower. Blazing a new trail before him with his genre–bending sound, channeling hard–changing rock dreamy pop, and above all else, the passionate music of his hometown. After performing throughout the Motor City and releasing two EPs as part of the duo Gosh Pith, Smith started to write music in his spare time and pursuing a solo career became a necessary option. He met electronic producer Elohim, who helped him take his vision to the next level. Working with her led to the debut single “Movies” in 2018. Smith sent the demo to his friend who was an assistant at William Morris and as he was playing the song at his desk, a co–worker asked who it was and submitted the single to the selection committee for Bonnaroo’s up–and–coming artists stage–which turned out to be his first show as Yoshi Flower. Since then, he has released several buzz–building mixtapes, signed to Interscope and made his debut appearance on the Coachella stage. For 2021, he plans on rolling out a series of two–track releases–one original song and one cover. The first release is “Faking Sleep,” a snapping hip–hop track along with the B–side, a brilliant cover of The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry.” Watch the visual for “Boys Don’t Cry” by Yoshi Flower HERE and contact Tobias Luong at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 4/4/2021
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, April 4th, 2021: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 50 radio stations on six continents weekly including: Flux FM Berlin, Germany; JioSaavn (worldwide); Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; WZRH–FM New Orleans, LA; KWSS “93.9FM” Phoenix, AZ; KRML “102.1FM” Carmel, CA; KFRR “New Rock 104.1FM” Fresno, CA; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); 96.2 ZFM The Netherlands; WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, OH; 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; Rock 96.5FM Zambia; 897 FM Bratislava, Slovakia; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, NY; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia; WRUR 88.5FM Rochester, NY; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY; KZND Anchorage, AK; KQCJ Quad Cities, IL; Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany; Indie Xfm Los Angeles and on The Independent FM (iHeartRadio) in the United States, as well as many others internationally.
Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:
BALTHAZAR – “On A Roll” (Munich Records, Belgium)
SUNHILL – “Sunday” (Black Valley Records, Sweden)
DANNY BALDURSSON – “Tears” (Unsigned, Faroe Islands)
LOTTERY WINNERS feat. FRANK TURNER – “Start Again” (Modern Sky, UK)
SLIDE – “Floating” (Slip N Slide Mix) (Unsigned, Sweden)
CADMIUM – “Juvenile Mind” (Unsigned, N. America)
DOHNY JEP – “Smile” (Memphis Music, UK)
CONNELL CRUISE – “Take Me To The River” (DG Records, South Africa)
THE HARA – “Black Soul Ceremony” (Unsigned, UK)
JEREMY LOOPS – “By The Way” (Universal, South Africa)
BLACK HONEY – “Believer” (Fox Five Records, UK)
DED RABBIT – “Gotta Get Outta This Place” (Unsigned, Scotland)
MY LIFE AS ALI THOMAS – “My Red Golden Sun’” (Warner Music, Thailand)
ALLDAY – “After All This Time” (Teamtrick, Australia)
INHALER – “When It Breaks” (Polydor, UK)
YOSHI FLOWER – “Boys Don’t Cry” (Interscope, N. America)
PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION – “The Back Seat’” (Unsigned, UK)
THE RUBENS – “Masterpiece” (Ivy League Records/Ditto/Humming, Australia)
THE CLOCKWORKS – “Enough Is Never Enough’” (Creation 23, UK)
7 DAYS IN ALASKA – “Hurts ike Bullets” (Sony Music, Norway)
THE VICES – “Looking For Faces” (Mattan Records, Holland)
KULICK – “Just Be Friends” (Enci Records, N. America)
LINN KOCH–EMMERY – “Hologram Love” (Welfare Sounds, Sweden)
STEREOTIDE – “All Together” (Unsigned, Germany)
THE TERRY’S – “Our Paradise” (Unsigned, Australia)
VIVII – “One Day” (Dumont Dumont, Sweden)
OSCAR LANG – “Something Has Changed” (Dirty Hit, UK)
IAMJJ – “Your Parents House’” (Mermaid Records, Denmark)
ROOSEVELT – “Lovers’” (Greco Roman, Germany)
MIDDLE KIDS – “Questions” (EMI, Australia)
LOVEBREAKERS – “Family Man’” (Little Rocket / Sabbath City, UK)
THE SWOONS – “If It Keeps You Up At Night” (Unsigned, N. America)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including The Lathums, The Rubens, Dohny Jep, Post–Party and Gold Member)